Sylvia Tong

Monash’s Master of Urban Planning and Design was the perfect course for me.

Sylvia Tong

I’ve always been interested in how the design and planning of our built environment can influence the way people live and behave, and moving to Melbourne gave me the opportunity to further pursue that interest. Monash offered the Master of Urban Planning and Design, and it was the perfect course for me.

The master’s degree offers the practical skills in design, alongside the academic rigour in urban planning that will enable me to develop comprehensive strategies for the planning industry.

My favourite part of the master’s degree has been the design courses. So far, I’ve learnt design software skills in the Architecture elective, and through the Urban Planning and Design studio I was able to develop a master plan for a regional neighbourhood.

I was able to work on the City of Greater Bendigo’s Golden Square Neighbourhood Activity Centre with the Strategic Planning team. This involved adding to work done on the centre’s planning zones and overlays, movement and place connections and character, and the design concepts for community meeting spaces.

Working for the council was an invaluable experience, it allowed me to put the knowledge I’d learnt in class into real-world situations.

This semester I’m developing an Urban Design Framework – idea generation and design concepts based on consultation, research and analysis – for a site that accommodates children living with autism and trauma. Next semester, I’d like to extend this to other sites providing health and human services, especially for people living with dementia.

I’m keen to develop my skills in the field of compassionate design for the built environment. I want to provide support to people who are differently-abled and use my knowledge and skills to help improve the planning and design processes for those in these communities.

At Monash, I feel really supported and encouraged by the academic staff. They have supported me as I’ve built up my visual communication skills and encouraged me to gain the experience I need for a career in Urban Planning and Design.